Truss and Kwarteng put on display of unity after U-turn over top rate of tax

Liz Truss and Kwasi Kwarteng have put on a public display of unity after the U-turn over axing the top rate of tax.

The Prime Minister and Chancellor toured a construction site in Birmingham in an attempt to illustrate their joint commitment to economic growth.

But speaking to reporters, Ms Truss was repeatedly pressed on whether she could trust her Downing Street neighbour after his humiliating climbdown over the plan to axe the 45p rate of income tax for top earners.

She declined to use the “trust” word, but said: “I work very, very closely with my Chancellor.

Prime Minister Liz Truss and Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng during a visit to a construction site for a medical innovation campus in Birmingham
Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng and Prime Minister Liz Truss during a visit to a construction site for a medical innovation campus in Birmingham (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

“We are facing difficult economic times, we are seeing rising interest rates around the world, very serious issues with energy prices and inflation, and we have acted decisively.”

Having failed to say she trusts the Chancellor during the visit, Ms Truss later did give that message during a round of broadcast interviews.

“I do trust the Chancellor, absolutely,” she told TalkTV.

During the visit to a site where a medical innovation centre is being constructed in Selly Oak, the Prime Minister operated a remote lifting device used to position panes of glass.

She joked “how much does this glass cost if I break it” as she used the machine to safely move the pane.

After a threatened revolt over the 45p rate and a looming battle over benefits, the Prime Minister will have to handle her fragile relationship with her MPs with equal care.

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